By the time that Heli-Expo ends tomorrow, AgustaWestland expects to sign agreements at the show for more than 100 helicopters worth more than $923 million. Some of the deals are still in their early stages, but the outlook is certainly positive, company officials told AIN.
AINalerts » February 13, 2012
Kaman Helicopters’ K-Max “unmanned aerial truck” has delivered nearly 200,000 pounds of cargo since the helicopter entered service in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps on December 17. To date, two of the pilotless, heavy-lift helicopters have logged about 100 hours in the skies over Afghanistan on cargo missions.
Speaking at the opening session at Heli-Expo yesterday, NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman, praised Helicopter Association International (HAI) for its creation of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and its new Safety Accreditation Program. She also challenged HAI members to continue efforts to promote Safety Management Systems (SMS) through IHST’s SMS Toolkit. When asked about NTSB’s contributions to IHST efforts, Hersman was quick to clarify: “You know we do not sit on committees, such as IHST, as voting members.
Simplex Aerospace is adapting its third-generation Aerial Cleaning System (ACS) into an aerial firefighting system for high-rise buildings. Ground-based firefighting equipment can reach only the first 11 floors of a high-rise, leaving an obvious gap in the ability to contain fires in higher up floors, Simplex vice president of sales and marketing Larry Lichtenberger told AIN today at Heli-Expo.
In two separate deals announced yesterday at Heli-Expo, global aircraft finance company Milestone Aviation Group signed orders for 16 Eurocopter EC225s and three Sikorsky S-92s. The Eurocopter order is valued at $480 million; terms of the Sikorsky contract were not disclosed. Deliveries of the EC225s are planned to start next year, with Milestone taking approximately three aircraft per year. In the Sikorsky deal, Milestone will take two S-92s in the second half of this year, with the third slated for delivery early next year.
The S-76D, Sikorsky’s latest iteration of its venerable helicopter, is scheduled to begin deliveries in the third quarter of this year after four years of program delays. More than 800 S-76-series helicopters have been delivered since 1979. The 35-year-old airframe design is being updated with new dual-Fadec 1,050-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S turboshaft engines, Thales Top Deck avionics, a two-speed quiet main rotor system and optional rotor ice protection.
Sky Helicopters, the FBO at Garland/DRW Heliport that is just a few miles from downtown Dallas, added a new hangar and more ramp space. The eight-acre public heliport now has hangar space for up to 50 helicopters and more than a quarter-million sq ft of ramp space. Sky Helicopters has been the heliport’s FBO since 1992. Opened in 1988, Garland/DFW is one of fewer than a dozen stand-alone public-use heliports in the U.S. It offers fuel sales, hangar rental, charter, training and maintenance.
Rockwell Collins has delivered its Pro Line 21 Integrated Display System (IDS) for installation on two Sikorsky S-61 helicopters. The installation was accomplished through a collaborative effort with Toronto-based Vector Aerospace. The Pro Line 21 IDS retrofit package for the Sikorsky S-61 includes two 10-inch-by-8-inch LCD primary flight displays, a solid-state weather radar system with turbulence detection, an attitude and heading reference system (AHRS), Mode S transponder with ADS-B Out capability, and a dual display control panel.
Universal Avionics is highlighting a new high-resolution, flat-panel display for helicopters and its Vision-1 synthetic vision system (SVS) with added guidance features this week at Heli-Expo. The EFI-890H with rotorcraft-specific symbology, including Vision-1+ SVS, is the centerpiece of a newly integrated digital flight deck destined for five Republic of Panama Bell 212s. The avionics retrofit system addresses the unique requirements of helicopter operators, including the capability for IFR operations in both Part 27 and Part 29 airframes.
Sikorsky Aircraft recognized Vancouver-based Helijet International as operator of the world’s highest time Sikorsky S-76 airframe. Helijet’s S-76A, S/N 760074, has logged a total of 37,025 flight hours. It entered service in July 1980 and then flew 2,287 hours during nine years’ service as a corporate transport in the northeastern U.S. Helijet acquired the aircraft in January 1990. In scheduled service, it has carried more than 500,000 passengers some three million miles between Helijet’s passenger terminals in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.